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Dr. Ford credits culture shift for enrollment

Florence-Darlington Technical College sees an 11 percent increase in its Spring to Spring enrollment for the first time in a number of years due to several positive changes and the revitalization of the College’s culture, President Dr. Jermaine Ford, said during the Florence Rotary club meeting on Monday, March 20.

“Our culture centers around five strategic priorities and seven values, hardwiring excellence within FDTC,” Dr. Ford said. “We are 100% committed to student success and workforce development, which are the foundational pillars that established FDTC in 1963.”

Dr. Ford added since he became President in October 2021, the college has created a strategic plan and worked tirelessly to improve external partnerships with K-12 school districts, legislative partners, business partners, and community partners, all while renewing our commitment to our internal stakeholders the faculty, staff, and students.

“With this new strategic plan and strategic direction in place, we are no longer running with multiple priorities in different directions,” he said. “This helps us to share what we are doing with our partners and where we hope to be. We are seeing the results now as our improved communication has helped us showcase our programs and capabilities to our partners.” 

Through these improved partnerships, FDTC launched several new programs, including Registered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Electrical, Online Paralegal, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and Pharmacy Technician. Additionally, the College has expanded its welding program, launched an allied healthcare apprenticeship program with McLeod Health, and improved collaboration with the business community, K-12 partners, and 4-year Universities.

 “We are committed to staying relevant,” he said. “FDTC is a comprehensive technical college, so we must ensure our programs match what the workforce market needs and stay congruent with our 4-year university partners for students seeking transfer degrees with junior status. The power of FDTC is that our students receive the right credential, zero debt, and access to a family-sustaining wage.”

Dr. Ford added that FDTC is currently in the early stages of creating a Construction Trades Academy at its main campus and at its Lake City Continuum Campus in partnership with the Darla Moore Foundation for plumbing and commercial electrician. He also noted that the College is fully engaged with the Envision AESC project alongside the Florence County Economic Development Partnership and SCTCS ReadySC.

“As our region continues to grow, FDTC stands ready to provide the training that our community needs to make sure employers have a highly trained workforce to serve their needs”

To learn more about FDTC’s programs visit the colleges website at Summer and Fall registration opens on April 3.

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